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Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding Hardcover – October 6, 2015
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From the Publisher
Hi! I'm Ruby! Join me on my adventures with my friends.
What is this book all about?
An Introduction for Parents
The idea for Hello Ruby was born in 2009, when I myself was learning to program. Whenever I ran into a problem, I would ask myself how a small, fierce girl would tackle it. But it took until the fall of 2013 for me to decide to be a children’s book author. Since then, understanding technology through play and imagination and creation has become my passion.
We all have stories that shape the way we see the world as adults. Like invisible friends, our childhood stories stay with us and influence our tastes for years to come. I think we need more of these voices and stories that are able to reveal the playful side of code.
Play is at the core of learning. Coding is like crayons or LEGO blocks—a way to express yourself. This book is not about 'learning to code'. It doesn’t teach any specific programming languages, but introduces the fundamentals of computational thinking that every future kid coder will need.
Kids will learn how to break big problems into small problems, look for patterns, create step-by-step plans, and think outside the box. With activities included for every chapter, future kid coders will be thrilled to put their own imaginations to work.
Each chapter is a small story in Ruby’s world, nine small lessons in computational thinking.
This book is designed to be worked on together with a parent. You can start by reading the entire story, or focus on one chapter at a time. Each chapter has a set of exercises that build on the concepts of play and creativity. Spend time playing and replaying the exercises. It’s normal and okay to make mistakes and to look at the same problem in different ways. That’s all part of computational thinking.
Toolboxes give additional information for parents and list concepts that are linked to the topic discussed. All concepts can be found in the glossary. You can also find suggested answers in the answer key at helloruby.com. There, you’ll also find more play activities and fun things to do, and you can see what other kids have created all around the world!
From School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—Bubbly redhead Ruby takes readers on a journey through an imaginary world replete with talking penguins, snow leopards, robots, and foxes who unwittingly teach her basic coding concepts. When Ruby's father travels out of town, he leaves her with a challenge: to find five gems. Armed with four scraps of paper, she uses her analytic skills to draw a map of the imaginary world where the gems are hidden, and children follow Ruby as she looks for them. The hunt for each gem involves a loose tie-in to a host of coding concepts, such as sequencing, patterns, loops, and pattern recognition. Notably, though, none of these terms are used in the actual text of the story; instead they are discussed at length in the post-story "Activity Book" section. Colorful and cheerful illustrations offer enticing Easter egg clues to observant readers throughout are in both the story and the "Activity Book." The visuals also serve to pick up the slack left by the somewhat didactic text. The "Activity Book" furthers the learning of conceptual coding ideas but requires patience and concentration that the intended audience may not yet possess. Kids will not necessarily walk away knowing how to write code but may possibly grasp some of the basic concepts. VERDICT This whimsical coding story could be a great resource for mathematical-minded youngsters but might soar over the heads of those less math-inclined.—Amy M. Laughlin, Darien Library, CT
About the Author
Linda Liukas is a programmer, storyteller, and illustrator from Helsinki, Finland. The idea for Hello Ruby first made its debut on Kickstarter and quickly smashed its $10,000 funding goal in just three and a half hours gathering $380,000 in total to become Kickstarter's most funded children's book.
Linda is a central figure in the world of programming and worked on edutech before it was even called that. Linda is the founder of Rails Girls, a global phenomenon teaching the basics of programming to young women all over the world. The workshops, organized by volunteers in over 160 cities, have in a few years taught more than 10,000 women the foundations of programming.
Linda has studied in business, design, and engineering at Aalto University and product engineering at Stanford University. She was selected as the 2013 Ruby Hero (the most notable prize within the Ruby programming community) and she's the Digital Champion of Finland, appointed by EU commissioner Neelie Kroes. She lives in Helsinki, Findland.
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Top Customer Reviews
No, your child is not going to "know how to code" after reading this book. This is not textbook by any means. This book teaches programming CONCEPTS, stuff helpful to understand before approaching actual syntax and advanced concepts. This is for FOUR to EIGHT year olds, so unless your kid is a child prodigy this is perfect. I love that it explains things in simple, fun ways for my two girls. This will help them with critical thinking and problem-solving skills while their brains are barely beginning to be capable of abstract thought. This book will lay the groundwork for them, and then when the time comes for tech-oriented courses they will feel completely comfortable.
I want my daughters to know that they are capable of anything, not just "girly" careers. Books like these are invaluable in changing the lopsided tech field.